Photo: BedBox by Stokke JetKids
Yes, travelling with toddlers can be a wild ride. Some parents may choose to stay close to home for fear that travel will interfere with the schedule of a tot who is finally sleeping through the night. But with the travel gear now available to Generation Alpha, parents can lose the jitters— the only requisitions nowadays are a portable toddler bed and the proverbial road. Here are a few of our favourite toddler travel beds.
Weighing only 1.1 kilograms, the PeaPod is lighter, both in weight and on your wallet, than some of the other travel beds. This innovative sleep solution by KidCo is suitable for children aged one to three, giving toddlers a head start on the glamping trend and large enough (18 x 28 x 46 inches) to keep them rested well into the big-kid years. Essentially a pop-up tent with an inflatable mattress, the PeaPod comes equipped with its own nylon carrying case, is compact enough for travel and can be used indoors as a crib replacement in a hotel room or an Airbnb. And, because it zips fully closed (see you later, bugs!), it’s ideal for outdoor use, too—take it camping or bring it to the park for a picnic and a nap. $100, well.ca
The prospect of a long flight with a toddler is so daunting to even the most seasoned travellers that they give up on the pipe dream of their child (who isn’t the best sleeper to begin with) ever sleeping soundly in an upright position on a cramped airplane. Visions of a screaming toddler sprawled out over a neighbouring passenger, kicking the seat in front of them or tangled up in a frayed seatbelt, could turn any wanderluster into a homebody. Enter the conveniently light (3.7 kilograms) and carry-on-sized BedBox by the clever team at Stokke. This option is best for toddlers aged two and up. The ride-on suitcase allows bigger kids to barrel through the airport long enough to tucker themselves out for the ride. Once on board the plane, unpack said ride-on, equipped with a mattress and protective side cushions, and attach it to the seat and it becomes a bed. Once they’re fast asleep, grab the flight attendant for a drink and relax—it’s going to be a long flight after all. $260, westcoastkids.ca
When playpens no longer do the trick and you’re too nervous to tuck your jerky little sleeper into a hotel bed, this inflatable number, by the family-run operation The Shrunks, is a smart solution for tots aged two and up. Boasting a 30-second set-up (pump included), this clever design mimics the construction of a full toddler bed, allowing for the mattress and guard rails to separate and making the whole travel bed cleanable. Though the bed is easy to pack (three kilograms and 7 x 7 x 16 inches when deflated), once inflated, standard-sized sheets tuck right into the inner air mattress for your little one to stretch out and sleep comfortably. Now that’s a holiday! $120, well.ca
Though slightly bulkier (at 4.7 kilograms) than an inflatable mattress, this solution from Milliard is a practical choice for parents who put a premium on their toddler’s comfort. Plush and cozy and raised on all sides, this foam travel bed measures 7 x 26 x 55 inches when open and folds up into a convenient suitcase that measures 14.5 x 25 x 27 inches when closed and even has room to stuff in your child’s favourite pillow and blankie. Lullaby not included. $205, amazon.ca
Essentially a sleeping bag but with firm, cushioned side bumpers and a padded bottom, the BumpZZZ Travel Bed by Leachco is a lightweight (2.7 kilograms) and portable bed in a bag suitable for kids aged two and up. By day, fold over the cushions and use it as a toddler lounge chair so that your little one can do their doll’s hair while you blow-dry yours. By night, lay it flat and extend. At 7 x 39 x 58 inches, there’s plenty of room to tuck in dolly, too. Nighty-night! $160, amazon.ca
Though not recommended for toddlers who still tend to roll in their beds, Joovy’s foldable kids’ cot, made of a stretchy nylon and steel bar construction and available in an array of bright colours, is the most transportable sleep option of them all. Though the cot is a comfortable size (at 9.5 x 25 x 48 inches) for a luxurious sleep, it folds up easily and fits into most suitcases. That said, with its simple set-up and light weight (three kilograms), your child can probably carry it and put it together all by themselves. Montessori diploma not required. $65, bedbathandbeyond.ca